Gran’s Southern Biscuits

These are southern-style biscuits just like grandma used to make. Literally: this recipe came to me (via my mom) from my grandmother and great aunt. And, besides being delicious, there’s something reassuring in that; though I’ve lived in New York for over a dozen years, I love that I come from a line of southern women. Who knows where this recipe started, or how many women before Gran and Aunt Lois made these? History, in every light, flaky mouthful.

And these are light and flaky. If you’re looking for dense, flavor-packed biscuits, move on. These aren’t crammed with cheese or garlic. They don’t march across your tastebuds with an army of flavor. They taste like the simple ingredients they’re made from: namely, white flour and milk.

There’s not anything healthy here: between the shortening and the white flour, this is pure, delicious, down-home comfort food. And, while that means that the nutritional bar is lowered, it also means that the taste brings me back to summers in Atlanta. Picking scabs on my knees. Believing that chocolate milk is the best beverage. Digging through my mom’s childhood jewelry box. Getting lost in my aunt’s Trixie Belden paperbacks.

In other words, these harken back to my childhood. A time when the world might not have been simpler, but I was. And so the comfort of this food goes far beyond its taste. But then again, the taste is pretty darn good, too.